Around 1614 BC, Santorini’s undersea volcano erupted to dramatically change the island’s ground. Apart from breathtaking geological formations, such as the Caldera and the volcano’s top emerging in the middle of the Aegean Sea, the volcanic eruption also blessed Santorini with a soil, where special and rare wine varieties grow. Therefore, the wine types produced in this island of rugged beauty are distinctive and unique around the world. The ground of Santorini is a fresh mixture of pumice, ash and lava. Top this weird combination with the prevailing strong winds and dry summer periods and you’ll get some of the most difficult conditions to practically cultivate anything! However, a great number of grape varieties have adjusted to these harsh conditions offering the world exceptional types of wine.
Moreover, the strange composition of Santorini’s ground seems to be totally unfriendly to insects harming the plantations, such as Phylloxera. The truth is that the quality of Santorini’s wine has been renowned for years. In fact, during the 19th century, the island’s winemakers successfully exported their wine produce in Russia.
Until recently, wine-making in Santorini was conducted only by hand. Great examples of wine production in the old times are currently available in the village of Megalochori, where the family-run Gavalas winery still uses traditional wine-making methods. Also, for people who utterly love fine wine and in general the philosophy surrounding it, Santorini Villas & Mansions is the ideal place for a stay in the very heart of wine culture in Santorini. Most of the properties are converted wineries still maintaining some of the original features. The Megalochori is also the place to visit if you are looking for authentic Greek dishes made of fresh locally produced ingredients. Wine tasting sessions are organized upon request too, and experienced sommeliers can help you enrich your wine assessment skills.
Actually, the magical island of Santorini will be wiped off the global map after the volcano hits again, as it has been foreseen. But we still have about 18.000 years to take pleasure of this half-moon shaped island’s gifts, before mighty Poseidon decides to strike again.
Wine types and how to pair them
Asyrtiko – This dry white wine is characterized by great intensity, balance, structure and rich flavor rather than aroma. Asyrtiko is ideally paired with fresh seafood or grilled fish and roasted vegetables.
Vinsanto – Little left to say about this world famous wine. Being the second basic wine type produced in the island, Vinsanto has a sweet taste and bronze color, reminding us of its history started long before the Venetian occupation in Santorini. Pastries sweetened with syrup or honey offer a balanced combination with a sweet wine like Vinsanto, so make sure to savor both of them in a fine restaurant overlooking the cliffs of Caldera.
Mezzo – A red wine less sweet than Vinsanto. You can have it with a variety of cold meat and cheese. It’s a great choice for your romantic evenings in Santorini’s atmospheric bars and cafes at sunset.